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Military Oligarchy
Molthuni (sing. & pl.)
Source: Lands of Conflict, pg(s). 6ff. (1E)
World Guide, pg(s). 42 (2E)

A rising power on the shores of Lake Encarthan, Molthune (pronounced mole-THOON)1 desperately wants to be an empire whose power rivals those of the great nations of the Inner Sea region. Currently, it is a nation whose ambition outstrips its abilities, but with new incentives encouraging immigration and enlistment in the national army, this may not be the case for long.[citation needed]


Molthune lies in central Avistan on the shores of Lake Encarthan, nestled between some of the most powerful nations on the continent. In some respects, this is an ideal location for an aspiring superpower—in others, it is not. To its east and south-east, Molthune is bordered by Druma, an unassailable merchant nation that is too valuable a trading partner to invade, along with the Cheliax-backed nation of Isger. To the south and west, separated by the Menador Mountains, lie Cheliax and Nidal, respectively, an unholy alliance of shadow-touched priests and Hell-spawned devils. Neither country is viable for Molthune's territorial ambitions, as Cheliax, despite the loss of much of its empire, is still one of the most powerful nations of the Inner Sea region and Nidal is one of its closest allies. To the north lies Nirmathas, which is the primary focus of Molthune's imperialist aggression.23 Finally, to its northwest, lies the newly incorporated hobgoblin nation of Oprak.4


A Molthuni soldier and a Nirmathi ranger confront each other.
A Molthuni commander disguised as a common bandit in Nirmathas.


Molthune was first defined as part of the empire of Cheliax in 4305 AR by King Haliad III during the Wars of Expansion,5 but the history of Molthune as a free nation, like many others, begins with the death of Aroden and Cheliax's subsequent decline. When the various factions within Cheliax began to splinter after the death of their patron god in 4606 AR, Molthune, under Governor Kellon, was quick to take advantage and declared itself independent in 4632 AR.36 Its struggle for independence later inspired the Chelish provinces of Andoran and Galt to do the same.3 In an effort to bring order within its borders, Molthune established itself as a military oligarchy controlled by nine general lords and heavy taxes to fund the military. The elites living in Canorate and the other southern cities largely benefitted from these taxes, while in the north, they were considered burdensome, bordering on tyrannical. This dissatisfaction in northern Molthune eventually grew into all-out rebellion.6

War with Nirmathas

The rebellious folk who dwelt in and around the Fangwood in northern Molthune had long chafed under the repressive rule of Cheliax and longed for freedom.3 They rejoiced when Molthune turned its back on its oppressors, but within a few short years realised that this had changed nothing except where they sent their tithes. In 4648 AR, the people of northern Molthune began a violent rebellion, starting a conflict called the Freedom War in the north and the Northern Rebellion in the south.5 Within seven short years, the rebels had won and the nation of Nirmathas was born.37 The founding of Nirmathas, however, was not the end to hostilities between these two nations; it just heralded a new direction for the conflict. Ever since Nirmathas's founding, Molthune has been trying desperately to get it back. The most recent Imperial Governor, Markwin Teldas, has instituted many new policies with the suspected aim of an invasion of Nirmathas.3

Oprak and the Whispering Tyrant

The founding of the hobgoblin nation of Oprak in 4717 AR on Molthune's northwestern border and the reemergence of the Whispering Tyrant as a direct military threat in 4719 AR have changed Molthune's military and political calculus.86 Even though the defeat of the Molthuni army by the hobgoblin forces of General Azaersi was written off as the fault of the commanders in charge rather than that of Molthune as a whole, the defeat has led to soul-searching and finger-pointing. Some generals believe that it is time to bring the war with Nirmathas to a close, or even to negotiate an alliance with their long-term foe in order to deal with Oprak and the Whispering Tyrant, while others warn that only a complete defeat of Oprak, the Whispering Tyrant, and Nirmathas will save Molthune from the terrible loss of face after numerous humiliating defeats. Whichever direction Molthune eventually chooses, this reevaluation of threats has currently led to a cooling of the ongoing conflict with Nirmathas.6

Other recent events

In 4706 AR, Imperial Governor Teldas declared the Pathfinder Society an enemy of the state in Molthune after the Society opened a Pathfinder lodge in the Nirmathi capital. However, many Pathfinders still sneak into Molthune to explore the country's ruins and other mysterious locales.9

In 4710 AR, several remote villages in Molthune were destroyed by fire and lightning following reports of a massive blue dragon flying north from Garund.5


Molthune is ruled by Imperial Governor Markwin Teldas who was chosen, like the previous Imperial Governors, by the Molthuni Imperial Army. Below the Imperial Governor are nine General Lords who each tend to certain areas of the country. These generals choose the mew Imperial Governor—normally when the previous one dies, as it is a position held for life. The absolute rule of the military may not be popular with some, but despite what their critics say, each General Lord is an efficient statesman, and they are far better suited to running the ongoing hostilities with Nirmathas and managing the territorial ambitions of Molthune than civilian governors would be.10

The provinces or territories of Molthune

A captain of the Imperial Army.

There are nine provinces, or territories, into which Molthune is currently divided; each province is ruled over by one of the general lords in their role as a territorial governor. The first province, Canorate, contains the capital and its environs and is ruled by the imperial governor. The other eight provinces are: Backar, Duskshroud, Marideth, commonly referred to today as "the Border", Menador, Mindspin, the Plains, Shrikewood, and Umbral Basin. Originally, before Nirmathas broke away, two more provinces existed in Molthune: Fangwood and Bloodsworn Vale.11

Foreign relations

As a highly expansionist nation, Molthune seeks to become a major player in the Inner Sea region. Molthune cannot consider any neighboring power as an ally due to its aggressive belligerence, but only Nirmathas is considered weak enough to be a target of conquest.12 Molthune engages in diplomatic relations with neighboring nations that it cannot easily subjugate, such as the economically influential Druma and the Cheliax-backed nation of Isger. However, it would be unwise to interpret this diplomacy as a sign of peace, as Molthune promptly seizes opportunities to advance its expansionist agenda.6


Taking advantage of its robust workforce and advantageous trade agreements, Molthune has established dominance in shipping and transportation throughout the area. The loss of the fertile lands in central Lastwall and the influx of refugees have made food supplies the most sought-after import in the region. Lake Encarthan remains a bustling waterway in Avistan, but the presence of the Whispering Tyrant on the Isle of Terror compels merchant ships and pirates alike to stay close to the safety of the shore.13


Molthune is primarily a nation of Chelaxian humans divided by a rigid class system that separates the people into two categories: imperial citizens and labourers. Imperial citizens generally live in the cities and larger towns like Canorate and Eranmas and, for the most part, live lives of wealth and privilege. They are allowed to trade with foreigners, move freely around Molthune, and participate in local government. Labourers have access to none of these privileges, acting as indentured servants who labour in the farms and forests of rural Molthune.[citation needed]


Beneath both castes are slaves. Their ownership is strictly regulated and Molthuni slaves have the ability to free themselves of their servitude to become full citizens with proper legal education. Although the process is lengthy, the fact that it exists at all means that slaves have more of a future in Molthune than in most other slave-holding nations.10 Although it is not forbidden for slaves to carry weapons openly in Molthune, it is an unusual sight.14

Path to citizenship

Governor Teldas proclaimed in 4710 AR6 that any labourer who serves five years in Molthune's armies can become an imperial citizen, helping to swell the army's ranks. This declaration is naturally quite unpopular with the country's ruling class, but is seen as a necessity by Teldas, who feels that Molthune needs more citizens in order to fully take advantage of its great wealth of natural resources. The army also accepts foreign and monstrous soldiers including hobgoblins, centaurs, and lycanthropes,10 although this practice came under heavy criticism when General Azaersi took advantage of these troops to raise her Ironfang Legion and start the Ironfang Invasion. As immigrants are also eligible, Lastwall refugees have flocked to Molthune as a result. Proof of earned citizenship comes in the form of a large iron coin with a number and the red flag of Molthune upon it; those who have "earned the red coin" are often unpopular with the aristocratic elite but have swelled the ranks of the Molthuni military forces.6


In addition to humans, Molthune has a sizeable minority of halflings. Like their kin in Cheliax, Molthuni halflings are mostly slaves, but Molthune's independence has made it much easier for them to win their freedom, either through years of hard work or military service. Free Molthuni halflings are often found as rural labourers.15 Canorate also has a large halfling population, and their nimbleness makes them valuable artisans in the city's towering spires.16

Outside Molthune's cities, savage creatures roam the wildlands. Untamed fey inhabit the Backar Forest10 (a popular destination for Pathfinders sneaking into the country),9 while the Shrikewood is home to marauding mites, kobolds, and ogres.17 Grimspawn cambions,18 those whose lineage has been tainted by the blood or influence of daemons, are drawn to the war-torn border between Molthune and Nirmathas.19


Paizo published a major sourcebook about Molthune titled Lands of Conflict and a poster map of the country in Ironfang Invasion Poster Map Folio.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Erik Mona, et al. “Appendices” in Campaign Setting, 247. Paizo Inc., 2008
  2. Erik Mona, et al. Campaign Setting, Poster Map. Paizo Inc., 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 122. Paizo Inc., 2011
  4. Erik Mona, et al. Eye of Dread” in World Guide, 37. Paizo Inc., 2019
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 36–7. Paizo Inc., 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Erik Mona, et al. Eye of Dread” in World Guide, 42. Paizo Inc., 2019
  7. Lissa Guillet & Amber E. Scott. “A Land Divided” in Lands of Conflict, 3. Paizo Inc., 2017
  8. Erik Mona, et al. Eye of Dread” in World Guide, 39. Paizo Inc., 2019
  9. 9.0 9.1 Tim Hitchcock, et al. “Welcome to the Pathfinder Society” in Seekers of Secrets, 12. Paizo Inc., 2009
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 123. Paizo Inc., 2011
  11. Lissa Guillet & Amber E. Scott. Molthune” in Lands of Conflict, 7–9. Paizo Inc., 2017
  12. John Compton, et al. “NPCs” in Inner Sea NPC Codex, 38. Paizo Inc., 2013
  13. Erik Mona, et al. Eye of Dread” in World Guide, 43. Paizo Inc., 2019
  14. Ed Greenwood. A Matter of Knives, 1. Paizo Inc., 2013
  15. Hal Maclean & Amber E. Scott. “Halfling Culture” in Halflings of Golarion, 12. Paizo Inc., 2011
  16. Hal Maclean & Amber E. Scott. “Halfling Culture” in Halflings of Golarion, 13. Paizo Inc., 2011
  17. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 125. Paizo Inc., 2011
  18. Paizo referred to cambion planar scions as tieflings until the publication of Player Core. These cambions are unrelated to the type of demon with the same name.
  19. Benjamin Bruck, et al. “Chapter 2: Uncommon Races” in Inner Sea Races, 156. Paizo Inc., 2015